Tepojal or tepezil is a valuable ally in the care of plants of all kinds, as it provides numerous beneficial properties to the soil or substrate, making its composition much better for plants when mixed with normal soil.
However, this valuable resource in the form of volcanic pomx stone is still unknown to many hobbyists. If you want to learn how to make your own tepojal substrate to improve the health of your plants, join us in this article in which we tell what the tepojal is for plants, what it is for and how it is used .
What is tepezil or tepojal for plants
Tepojal or tepezil is a rock of volcanic origin , which in many places is called pumice stone , as it is a pumice stone. However, this last way of calling it can change according to the country or the area, therefore, what is called pumice in some places is called tepojal and in other places two different types of stones are called thus.
It is a material whose properties improve the composition of soils for the cultivation of practically any species of plants, which is why it is widely used in gardening and ecological horticulture, in addition to its other uses as a construction material.
The tepojal includes in its composition the following elements: silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide, iron and ferric and ferrous oxides, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium oxide and titanium dioxide. All of these are useful components for plants.
What is the tepojal for plants for
The benefits of tepojal for plants are very varied.
- For starters, this stone lightens the soil . The tepojal or tepejil substrate is a lighter material than the common soil or substrate, so it helps to make the mixture lighter and looser, compacting less and, therefore, favoring the aeration of the roots and an easy development for the plant.
- For the same reason, it is also a great ally when it comes to improving the drainage capacity of a soil , something vital in the vast majority of species: very few plants tolerate flooded soils. Succulents, whose roots are especially sensitive to excess moisture, are particularly benefited from the use of this material.
- Its porous texture makes it a very absorbent material . This allows it to absorb both water and fertilizers, fungicides or pesticides, releasing them continuously and slowly afterwards, thus improving their performance. This is also a great help in maintaining controlled moisture levels in the soil.
- By lightening the soil, it makes the task of tilling it easier. Removing and aerating the earth with tepojal is faster and more comfortable.
- By maintaining proper humidity levels , you need to water less often and help prevent cracks or scabs from the sun.
- It is chemically inert and pH neutral , so it does not affect the balance of the soil.
- It does not favor the appearance of fungi or pests of any kind, being very useful for hydroponic cultivation and for cuttings.
- It is also often used in the formation of vertical gardens or cultivated roofs, since it helps to greatly reduce the weight of the substrate to be used, also benefiting the crop.
- It is a non-organic material, so it can be reused without losing its properties or degrading in the short term.
- Its composition is rich in a large amount of micronutrients and macronutrients essential for plants , such as iron, vital for the formation of chlorophyll or potassium, which favors root growth.
How to use the tepojal for plants
The use of the tepojal substrate for plants is very simple. It is only necessary to mix a part of this material with the soil or substrate in which we are going to cultivate. Here are some tips:
- Sometimes we can limit ourselves to putting a layer of tepojal on the earth or substrate, at the base of the plant. In this way we create an insulation between the plant and the soil, helping to separate it from excess moisture and maintaining a more stable temperature on the ground.
- However, if we want to lighten the soil and improve its drainage and nutrient properties, it is better to mix it, trying to homogenize the mixture as much as possible. The good thing about tepojal or tepezil is that, unlike other similar materials, it has a slightly higher weight, so it mixes better with the earth instead of tending to rise to the surface.
What can be used as a substitute for tepojal
Whether you want to know what can be used as a substitute for tepojal or what other materials the tepojal can substitute , keep in mind that it is usually used as a substitute, or vice versa, for other types of porous stones.
Thus, tepojal or tepezil is usually used together with perlite or vermiculite . They are materials of similar compositions, that fulfill similar functions and with small changes in their thickness, granularity or color. Vermiculite is the one that retains the greatest amount of water of the three, being therefore more suitable for plants with a greater need for it. For the rest, they can be used interchangeably according to taste, although it is also very common to mix them in order to enjoy the properties of all of them.